Town Square

More on Health Care: Public Options Co-Ops, Other

Original post made by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Sep 8, 2009

I will admit that I have little or no expertise around health care policy. I have tried to stay engaged and informed these past few months.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2009 at 4:59 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Replace the unfunded mandate that hospitals serve all whether they can pay or not, which forces hospitals to "tax" all the payers, with a system where the government pays for non-payers and then determines whether the guy can pay or not. Hospitals will then base fees on cost plus.
Remove the ability of judges to graft new coverage onto existing policies. Imagine some judge deciding that car insurance covered gas.
Tax punitive damages at 90% and apply to coverage of deserving uninsured.

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Posted by Bill H.
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 9, 2009 at 10:44 am

So you are worried about $50.00?

Every 5 weeks the Obama administration adds $100,000,000,000.00 to the national debt or $ 2,857,142,857.14 per day! Our debt ceiling, the amount of debt the USA can legally owe, is now $12.1 trillion.

My children's' children and yours will be paying for the debt incurred by people who have die.

They will work all their lives to pay this and have nothing to show for it.

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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 9, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Bill H. - yes, the debt is staggering. What do we do about it? Enslave and deprive our people, let our country fall to ruin?

Do we have to solve the debt before we do anything else, because if we do we will never be able to do anything, and we are broke from spending money on things that we probably should not have done that most people did not have a say in or benefit from.

While some benefit hugely from this catastrophe a growing number get run down every day. What do we do? Keep mowing them down in all kinds of ways. This is what we decided we were not going to let happen to people in the early 1900's and have been moving away from.

How do we re-settle the debt with the world is what I'm wondering?

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Posted by observer
a resident of another community
on Sep 12, 2009 at 1:50 am

In answer to this and another healthcare post you made recently--

I have read T.R. Reid and find it fascinating. The one place he gets it wrong is by categorizing insured people in this country as having care under the Bismarckian model -- which is wrong. We are only promised care essentially under that model, insurance companies make a profit by making sure we don't get that coverage if they can get away with it.

He points out that no other system uses for-profit insurance as their main healthcare financing, but then doesn't connect the dots.

We spend $450 billion annually on paperwork, largely due to private for-profit insurance. According to Dr. Claudia Chaufan at UCSF, we now have nearly one paper pusher in the system for every healthcare worker.

Here's how it works: insurance companies individually use paperwork to delay and deny care. They overwhelm, confuse, make "mistakes, call things not medically necessary and let people fight until they give up, etc. The insurers gamble that the paperwork will cost less than paying the claim. Sometimes they will do things where the paperwork costs more, but they make the money back and more on a percentage of cases where they get away with it. Sometimes they like to just harass individuals and doctors that cost them money in other areas.

The total paperwork costs are not just on the insurers side: medical centers, hospitals, doctors groups, patients, even the government, have to maintain a huge paperwork structure to deal with this in order to collect from insurance. There's an enormous burden on our citizenry and legal system that isn't even counted in those statistics.

Ponder for a moment how much money that is: $450 billion versus $500-600 billion which is the budget for the entire Department of Defense (all branches of the military, bases around the world, operations, armed forced, overhead, etc.etc)

The trouble with the proposals is they are naive about why we have this waste. It's only waste from our perspective; for insurers, it's their investment in their profits. Other types of insurance do exactly the same with paperwork, you just don't hear about it as much because fewer people have claims.

Countries like Japan and Switzerland have lots of insurers, they just don't make a profit for healthcare financing. As long as they do, they have an incentive NOT to do their job, and we're all suffering for it.

This is where the huge savings is to be found in reform, simply getting rid of insurance profiteering. I don't see how the public option alone will save any of these costs, it seems poised only to add to the paperwork structure. And insurers will only redouble their efforts to regain their advantage.

It's time we looked at what this industry is costing us, and what it is delivering (a lot of negatives, and little of value that I can see). It is utterly failing at what it was chartered as an industry to do, which is save people from financial ruin in the event of large medical expenses. As you know, nearly 2/3 of personal bankruptcies are due to medical expenses and most have health insurance.

We know longer have the luxury of propping up this ridiculously expensive and deleterious industry at the expense of our business and citizenry.

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Posted by observer
a resident of another community
on Sep 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Oops, I meant:

We NO longer have the luxury of propping up this ridiculously expensive and deleterious industry at the expense of our business and citizenry.

Our business sector and doctors should really be hopping mad about this and demand this one insurance reform.

If the Congress were wise, it would take on this one issue separate from healthcare reform, and call it "insurance reform". Then they could lay out just the arguments for it, and appeal to our business community, medical profession, and the public directly against the insurance industry's shakedown. More importantly, they could get insurance reform through far more quickly and it would begin to help our economy right away -- and wouldn't be hampered by all the emotionally loaded aspects of healthCARE reform.

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Posted by Get back to what works.
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jan 9, 2010 at 7:18 am

Stunning..big name MIT "academic" pusher of "health reform" was on payroll of ..the government HHS while pushing govt option.Wow, shocking..his pocketbook would greatly benefit from consulting with HHS to get 'er done.

Link to this article

Web Link people like me say all the time, follow the money and the power.

I prefer to keep my freedom to choose my coverage amongst many many "greedy" individuals trying to earn my trust than to simply hand it over to a couple folks in DC...with no power to drive them out of business from lack of enrollees, since we would all be forced onto their plan.

I don't believe for one moment the 'govt option" is dead, as is being touted, I believe they are going to go Alinsky and Clowen Pivens on us, and just trying to break the private system so we are screaming for "govt" to step in.

The increased taxes on private insurances - result? -- more expensive insurance, fewer people to afford it.

The push to willy-nilly regulate "no prior conditions refusal"..more expensive private insurance for those of us who actually think ahead responsibly and buy our insurance while we are healthy- result? Fewer healthy folks will buy the private plans because they are more expensive, and be forced into "govt save me" when they fall ill...or better yet, simply wait till they are ill then "buy insurance" at the guaranteed, subsidized by the rest of us level.

Every "new rule" I have read so far will only have the effect of driving up private insurance costs, with the ClowenPivens goal of breaking the system, so that the ignorant masses are begging for relief from "govt".

Which brings us back to the original line..where DC will pick and choose the winners, like this MIT bozo, who benefit from your taxes, leaving you worse off than you are now.

Remember that the scariest sentence in the English language is "Hi, I am here from the government and i am going to help you" ( to paraphrase Reagan and, basically, Thatcher)

Remember that.

Don't take all your info from one Reid. Read each source with a jaundiced eye, and think "what will the end results be in 20 years". Think like the American Indian tribe (I forget which one, but it has always stuck with me) "7 generations from now". Think how much we have changed in the last 140 years, what we have encouraged with our 'good intentions" and ask yourself what else wrong we are going to do by moving ever more away from the founding principles of our country.

I recommend reading any and all by Sowell, and Heritage Foundation, and Pacific Research Institute, for principles that work. Our insurance worked until Govt started regulating what "must" be covered, and started "protecting" consumers, and lawsuits went insane.

Let's get back to those basics and do what works again.

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Posted by Get back to what works
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jan 10, 2010 at 9:53 am

I work in health care, and overheard a great exchange in the lunch room a couple days ago.

Every single one of the CNAs, not one of whom was born and raised here, and therefore are working the least paid and hardest jobs we have in health care, were complaining about getting a "raise" which made them all pay more in that they brought nothing more home.

What were they talking about? Finding jobs outside of health care where the work wasn't as hard but paid as well. These guys work hourse around the clock, weekends, holidays..and figure it just isn't worth it any more. Going to be fun trying to keep delivering "quality care" as more and more of us leave health fields and leave those remaining with more and more patients to care for as the boomers age out....

keep up the good work, socialist policy makers.

Good story now running around about a teacher with an economics class that insisted that "Obama's economic recovery plan is good" he said fine, let's put it into action in this class with grades. and they all agreed. Everyone would get the average of the grades of all of them on each test to "keep it fair".

The first test averaged B..the hard working ones were mad, the others happy.

The second test averaged D..the hard working ones said "why bother" and the others thought the hard working ones would pull them along.

The last test was an F..big surprise.

this is the inevitable result of taking away the benefits of working hard, be it for "health care" , housing, food..anything.